Lesson Plan: The Life of a Salesman

There I was on a rainy and cold September day reading the last words of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman with my 12th grade students. Tears actually flowed down the face of a student with Aspergers and the class remarked how truly sad this story is. 

From that point on I realized that Willy and I share a lot in common. I don't sell out of a suitcase nor travel door-to-door, but as a teacher, I am what Daniel Pink calls the modern salesman. 

to sell is human - dan pink.jpg

I sell lessons, I sell my clout as a teacher, and I must sell motivation. If my clients don't buy the product, it's a lose lose situation.

Daniel Pink writes in his latest book, To Sell is Human, that selling may be at the heart of most of our lives - that is, especially if you are on social media. 

Ideas, clout, and personas are at the heart of influencing others. Many people, I'll confess myself included, spend a great deal of time curating information about themselves to fit a social profile - professional or leisure - to paint the image they want others to see of them. We do this on a personal scale and we do this on a larger scale.

Such as Blake Mycoskie of TOMS and how he used a false Beverly Hills address to appear like a superstar in the shoe industry and catapult himself into Entrepreneurally fame. 

Or why Coursera.org's MOOCs quickly rose into stardom because it offers users FREE certificates with an Ivy-League logo to those that complete a course through such a university. 

So, how can education shift to meet the client's needs and provide an influx of sales? Is there a way to make education an easier sell to students? 

Will students line up eagerly at the check-out line waiting for their lesson?